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shattered by a new round of gunfire that follows a weekend of u.s. led air strikes. president obama answering questions this afternoon for the first time since sending our fighter jets into action. >> the core principle that has to be upheld here is that when the entire international community, almost unanimously, says that there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place that a leader who has lost his legitimacy decides to turn his military on his own people, that we can't simply stand by with empty words. >> one of this weekend's bombings badly damaged president gadhafi's compound. pro-gadhafi forces opened fire on a crowd of rebels in mizratah today killing nine of them gaining control of that area seen as critical for gadhafi on a strategic level. what is happening in libya? the latest headline from the uprisingings throughout the middle east look like this away from libya. yemen also in crisis right now. the president is losing his grip on power. he dissolved his cabinet over the weekend but for the growing groups of protesters that's not enough. some of the members
in pushing back gadhafi forces but so far no concrete details on an end game as to u.s. or foreign involvement. in fact, we heard the pentagon just this afternoon doubling down on this mission. >> we're going to continue to pursue all actions necessary to make him comply with the security council resolution 1973. >> well first egypt, now libya, and it does not stop there know that. yemen, bahrain, syria. what remains a question is whether the u.s. support for the freedom fighters in one country will spread to the others? let's start things off with robert powell, middle east analyst. what's playing out in libya period? >> well, it's essentially a rag tag rebel army, tribal elements plus a regimeรง that's been in place for who 26 years and now obviously western military forces have weighed in to deal with gadhafi and his behavior. >> is the end game a failed state, one new country out of benghazi and another new country out of tripoli? >> it's difficult given how the situation is to give an answer. given how weak the forces are, how ill-equipped, difficult to avoid the partition sc
with a caveat. while nato will be in charge of enforcing the no-fly zone, it is the u.s. that will take the lead when it comes to the more difficult task of planning attacks on gadhafi's ground forces. even as the dictator promoted every soldier in his army today, the man leading the american mission is staying ca hard to make it hard for gadhafi and his troops to kill its own citizens and destroy property. but that is as i described yesterday, a delicate mission. >> nbc news chief news correspondent richard engel is in benghazi. what do we make of reports that gadhafi wants to meet with the opposition? >> we've heard many reports like that. we've also heard that gadhafi wants to send 2,000 people carrying olive branchs to benghazi, and one of the rebel opposition leaders said they're worried about this. they're worried it could be a trojan horse. they don't want these people to come into the city. they don't trust gadhafi at all to hold negotiations, they don't trust him to hold a cease-fire, and frankly don't want his representatives in benghazi or even close to where the rebels are. >> what a
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